lisalisa - what about a halfway house - more fresh stuff but not necessarily organic? I have to confess I'm slightly more choosy with organic after a box delivery where I had to pick out lots of tiny flies from all the veg! Pathetic, I know - I'm the supermarket's target market of wanting everything uniform, looks over taste .... [rolls eyes at herself]
Funnily enough, trying to do something similar here due to lots of bugs over the winter, Jamie's School Dinners programme and a kitchen extension which meant we ate out for about a week and I now can't STAND the taste of overly processed stuff. Just going to go for better quality small shops meat, fruit and veg rather than relying on the supermarket for now and then change things gradually from there...
Agree with the sentiment that organic is best. But....having said that, was shocked to purchase a free range chicken at the butcher's on Saturday, and it cost almost 15pounds, vs 6pounds for a regular chicken of approx the same weight from the same butcher. So, we may be healthier, but we're definitely poorer!
For chickens I tend to go for cornfed... I remember someone telling me that they are healthier for some reason, but generally aren't too expensive (because many people are put off by their yellow colour). Do feel guilty though about welfare issues - but as you say - over twice the cost for organic... it's a tough decision on most people's budgets.
There was an article in the Style section of Sunday times yesterday written by A Karmell.
Columbus eggs are the way to go (this is one of the points she made)
I'm not going to copy &paste it here because of copyrights but try and find it online. It's not long but most informative.
I don't buy exclusively organic as it can be so expensive.
We are low income, so we never have enough money to buy processed foods, junk, ready meals or takeaway. So in that way, we are healthy eaters. We cook from scratch b/c we have to! We do try to buy as locally as possible - our eggs and meat come from a farm run by the Bethany charity on the outskirts of town. That way we try to help the homeless AND get locally produced food. As we cannot afford much meat, we eat a lot of pulses and pulse-based soups.
We've just discovered organic chickens. Previously always bought free-range thinking to be ethically ok but Observer article last week confirmed the move to organic. However, with the 2 that we have bought - bought smaller so cost was the same but still managed to produce same number of meals from one bird! Don't know if there is less shrinkage or what but I'm delighted (esp since dh noticed the flavour upgrade)! Worth a shot. Also, we eat meat most days but in small quantities; everything is made from scratch (bulk cook and freeze). Guardian had a helpful list (ages ago but use their search function) on what was worth buying as organic and what wasn't (yes to carrots and no to onions (IIRC) etc).